2 Chronicles 11
Rehoboam is angered at being rejected and nearly stoned by the people of Israel when he went to Israel to take taxes, and makes ready for war.
2 Chronicles 11:1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
Then God speaks to Judah through his prophet and they obeyed God, preventing war between Judah and Israel for a time. Later Judah and Israel were to disobey God and war with each other on a regular basis.
11:2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 11:3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 11:4 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam [Israel].
Then Rehoboam filled Judah with fortresses for fear of Israel
11:5 And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah. 11:6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, 11:7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam, 11:8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, 11:9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, 11:10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities. 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine. 11:12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
Here we get the carnal reasoning that caused Jeroboam to feel the need to establish his own religion in Samaria; which was that because of the temple in Jerusalem many priests and Levites flocked out of Israel to Jerusalem and Jeroboam greatly feared that the people would follow them over to Judah.
Jeroboam did not trust in the promise of God and tried to save his kingdom by his own ways, by turning away from the very God who had given him his kingdom. How very typically carnal that God gives and then we turn aside from the very God who gave the gift to us.
It is just so very easy to fall away from the Living God to our own devises, and today’s spiritual Ekklesia has done exactly the same thing! Fearing brethren leaving their organizations they have exalted organizational unity and men as their golden calves above all else, including living by every Word of God.
11:13 And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. 11:14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD:
Jeroboam then rejected God and the faithful priests and Levites, and appointed the basest of the people to be priests of his gods of calves. Consider that Jeroboam would have appointed very impressive, skillful and popular men to his priesthood; but they were base in the eyes of God.
God does not look on the outward appearance as people do, but on the inner spirit and heart of people. Some of the most well respected by men elders and leaders, are in God’s eyes the basest and most wicked of men, because they seek to exalt themselves and come between the people and God; leading the brethren away from a zeal to live by every Word of God and into a zeal for idols of men and organizations.
Many of the men who appear on the surface to be so impressive in the Ekklesia are just tares of the wicked one, who are quenching any zeal to live by every Word of God and leading people to think that following such men away from a zeal for God is the same as following God!
The latter day deception in the Called Out is very great, as Jesus and the apostles repeatedly warned us to be alert for. Just as Jeroboam ordained priests for his idols, so many faithless and unqualified elders have been ordained in our time because they idolize men and corporate entities instead of being ordained for their love and zeal for God.
Indeed today’s Ekklesia would reject ordaining any person who is zealous for God and does not idolize the corporate leaders.
11:15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
After Jeroboam set up his gods many of those living in Israel still went up to the Festivals at Jerusalem.
11:16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.
For three years Rehoboam was faithful to God like David and Solomon [although both David and Solomon had their bad times, they were sincerely repentant and did mighty works for God]
11:17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.
Rehoboam’s wives and children
11:18 And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse; 11:19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham. 11:20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
11:21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore  concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
Rehoboam learned his lesson after having Jeroboam and Israel rebel and leave him. He was wise and faithful to God, but like his father he loved many women.
It is possible that Rehoboam saw much benefit in being faithful to God because of the increase of his kingdom as the faithful in Israel came over to him. Very often we can be faithful when times are good; but for the wrong reason of self interest instead of a true zeal for the Word of God. Often only God who knows the heart can judge motives which is why God often tests us.
11:22 And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king. 11:23 And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
2 Chronicles 12
Then when Rehoboam felt secure he apostatized and fell away from God
2 Chronicles 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all [Judah as a part of the family of Israel. The kingdom of Israel had already apostatized under Jeroboam] Israel with him.
Then God used Egypt to correct Rehoboam and Judah for their sins; even as God will correct today’s physical and spiritual Israel in great tribulation for our many sins.
12:2 And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, 12:3 With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians.
Everything that Rehoboam had built, came to nothing: Just as what we build in physical terms today will come to nothing and be destroyed. We are to be about building our spiritual house as a Temple for the Spirit of God and not to be about building physical things.
Rehoboam could not save himself by his own devices and all his mighty works were brought to nothing; Just so, our physical buildings will not save us when we lose our zeal to learn and to live by the whole Word of God. The more we focus on physical building projects which take funds away form the message of warning and witness, the further we are from God.
Fabulous building projects like the Ambassador Auditorium and attempts to copy it, are a monstrous idol which distracts the brethren away from seeing their true spiritual condition by equating physical property with spiritual success.
12:4 And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
Then God sent his prophet to correct Judah
12:5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
The leaders then repented and God delivered Jerusalem from destruction.
12:6 Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. 12:7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
Yet God made Judah to serve under tribute to Egypt so that they would learn to serve God.
12:8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
12:10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king’s house. 12:11 And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.
12:12 And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well.
12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
12:16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.
Brethren, we cannot save ourselves from the grave, nor can we receive the reward of eternal life, even if we prosper physically in this life.
Our only hope is our zeal and passionate enthusiasm to learn and keep every Word of God; to fully internalize the very nature of God, so that we might become like him; to think as God thinks and to live as God reveals in his Word.
2 Chronicles 13
2 Chronicles 13:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam [of Israel] began Abijah to reign over Judah. 13:2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
13:3 And Abijah [of Judah] set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.
Abijah challenges Jeroboam and his idols saying that God had given all Israel to David. This was true up to a certain point but ignored the fact that God had removed Israel from Judah for the sins of Solomon. Yet God allowed this challenge from Judah as a correction for the idolatry of Israel and Jeroboam.
13:4 And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said,
Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel; 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 13:6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord. 13:7 And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.
13:8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with your golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods. 13:9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.
13:10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business: 13:11 And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.
13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.
13:13 But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them.
Dear brethren; it is our Mighty God that delivers and saves his people!
Only by following him and living by every Word of God will we find salvation and deliverance from sin.
If we compromise with the Word of God and fall into sin, we have turned aside from our only Deliverer and we are doomed to grave correction; and we stand on the edge of judgment to destruction.
13:14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 13:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
This was no simple border skirmish but massive death. The same thing is coming upon today’s spiritual Ekklesia organizations which are full of zeal for their idols and have no zeal to live by every Word of God.
13:16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand. 13:17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.
13:19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephraim with the towns thereof.
Jeroboam was greatly weakened by Judah for his wickedness; and God caused Jeroboam to die (1 Kings 14).
13:20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.
13:21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.
13:22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.